Tyasha Harris is ranked as the No. 10 girls basketball recruiting prospect in the country by ESPN. She can name her school, almost literally.
The Heritage Christian 5-10 senior-to-be has 54 scholarship offers. Fifty-four. 54. And that’s not the craziest part. The crazy part is that she still hasn’t said no to any of the 54.
“My parents and coaches have set up a spreadsheet for me to call the coaches at certain times,” Harris said Tuesday at the IBCA/IHSAA Top 100 Girls Showcase at Ben Davis. “Fifty-four, yeah, that’s a lot. But my parents and coaches help me keep up with it all.”
Harris will soon begin the process of narrowing those schools and deciding where she will take her official visits. That’ll likely happen later this month. Harris has her eyes wide open going into the recruiting process, well aware of the transfer issues that plague both the men’s and women’s game. Along with her parents, Bruce and Shannon Harris, she’s looking for the best “family” fit, not necessarily the program with the best facilities or most impressive trophy case.
“You see how many transfers there are after one or two years,” Harris said.
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It’s easy to see why Harris is in demand from programs like Butler, Indiana, Purdue, Alabama, Georgia Tech, Georgetown, Michigan State, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and many more. She loves to pass. Harris could score more than the 17.5 points she averaged last year as a junior for Class 2A state champion Heritage Christian.
But taking more shots would also steal some of the joy Harris has for the game. Finding a cutting teammate for a layup through a seam in the defense gets her as pumped as a pull-up jumper, probably more.
“My favorite thing to do is make my teammates better,” said Harris, who had 20 points, seven assists and six rebounds in a sterling performance in the 2A state finals against Fort Wayne Canterbury. “A lot of people like to score, which I can do, but I like to see my teammates get joy out of it too. I feel like coming down the court and doing a little shake and bake and passing to a teammate gets as much ‘oohs’ and ‘ahs’ from the crowd as a step-back 3. There are more things to basketball than scoring.”
It’s a gift Harris possesses. She can see a play happening before it materializes. It happened multiple times during Tuesday’s scrimmages, including a baseball pass from beyond halfcourt to a sprinting teammate under the basket that resulted in an easy bucket.
“My teammates know they have to be looking for the ball,” she said. “I’ll see you.”
If there is one player who could challenge Princeton’s Jackie Young for IndyStar Miss Basketball in 2016, it could be Harris. Young, the 5-11 Notre Dame recruit, is ranked one spot ahead of Harris at No. 9 nationally by ESPN. Young also set a state single-season scoring record last season, becoming the first girls player in Indiana to go over 1,000 points for Class 3A champion Princeton.
Harris and Young could be on a collision course this season. Heritage Christian is moving to Class 3A for the next two years due to the IHSAA’s tournament success factor. The two are friendly rivals, Harris said.
Young shares many of the same attributes as Harris. The Princeton star scores more for her team out of necessity but makes many of the same “did you see that?” passes as Harris. A head-to-head showdown in the state tournament would be enticing.
Harris isn’t giving up on the idea of winning Miss Basketball. But as is her nature, she’s looking at it from a team perspective.
“I think it’ll come down to state and how we play against each other,” Harris said. “We’ll both have a chance to prove ourselves. It could come down to the team that wins.”
>> Butler recruit Kristen Spolyar (Lebanon) is coming off a season where she averaged 32.4 points, 9.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists in a 23-4 season. The 5-10 Spolyar said the Butler coaches like her toughness.
“They like my ability to score and take it to the basket,” she said. “I’m not quite sure what position I’ll play, but I know I need to improve my ballhandling so if they need me to play point guard I can play that position.”
>> Another of the state’s top 2016 players, Roncalli’s Lindsay Corsaro, has not yet returned from a knee injury suffered in January. Roncalli coach Stan Benge said the 6-foot Corsaro, a Kentucky recruit, is getting close.
Corsaro averaged 23.0 points, 10.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists as a junior before suffering a season-ending torn anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee in a loss at Bedford North Lawrence.
Call Star reporter Kyle Neddenriep at (317) 444-6649.